The need for OKR software
For companies implementing objectives and key results (OKRs), simple, free tools like Google Docs or Sheets may only be sufficient in the short term.In the long-term, as you scale OKRs across the organization — requiring more visibility, alignment, and integrations — a more robust OKR software may be more fitting.
Besides catering to company needs, the right OKR software can also power a company through external business challenges, making it more agile, flexible, and capable of executing strategic priorities.
To help you understand the benefits of OKR software — and pick an OKR management tool that's best suited for your business — this article will cover:
- What is OKR software?
- The main features of OKR software
- The benefits of OKR software
- How to choose the best OKR software
- 8 best OKR software solutions
What is OKR software?
Objectives and key results software is technology that helps your organization implement, manage, and update OKRs at the company, team, and individual levels.
Such OKR tools enable your organization to assign OKRs, align efforts, and ensure progress transparency throughout the OKR cycle, making the adoption of OKRs for any-sized business simple, straightforward, and hassle-free.
The main features of OKR software
With plenty of OKR management software on the market, you may find it hard to choose the right OKR tool for your organization. Yet, there are some key features that all OKR management tools should offer to yield the best results as you track progress for your company's goals. These include:
- An intuitive user interface
- Cascading, bottom-up, and bidirectional OKRs
- Visualization of real-time progress
- Performance and progress reports
An intuitive user interface
The biggest priority for your OKR software is ensuring your company will use it. OKR tracking software should be easy to use for all employees, with streamlined navigation, operational efficiency, and accessibility making it easy for employees to get OKRs up and running. An optimized user interface allows your employees to concentrate on OKR implementation, management, and oversight instead of figuring out the ins and outs of the OKR platform. It makes it easy to track individual and team goals in one place.
Cascading, bottom-up, and bidirectional OKRs
The right OKR tool should provide flexibility when creating OKR templates, enabling you to set cascading, top-down, and bidirectional OKRs. This way, upper management can set OKRs, teams can establish OKRs for alignment with company goals, and leaders can collaborate with employees to create OKRs based on mutual goals and individual capabilities. This flexibility ensures everyone is involved with OKRs and can contribute to the company’s success.
Having a bird’s eye view of your data can help you better understand how, for example, your OKRs and KPIs work together. Your OKR tool should have an OKR dashboard feature consolidating all data in one place, acting as a one-stop shop for actionable OKR insights. This OKR dashboard should provide an overview of your data, allowing you to compare metrics and filter these based on chosen characteristics.
Visualize real-time progress
Companies using OKRs tend to interlink their goals, using multiple data sources to update OKRs. This makes it difficult to measure progress. Good OKR management software uses real-time, visual data (e.g., Gantt charts, Kanban boards) to update OKRs (usually on an OKR dashboard), allowing you to see how they link together and get a clear breakdown of your efforts.
Performance and progress reports
An OKR platform that generates performance and progress reports can help you anticipate bottlenecks, allowing you to overcome hurdles and improve results. For a complete overview of OKR performance, these reports should showcase previous performance, progress over time, and (un)healthy OKRs — with the possibility of filtering these based on departments, teams, or individuals within your organization.
As flexibility is ingrained into the OKR framework — and different organizations have distinct OKR needs — your OKR tool must be adaptable. It should enable the creation of dynamic OKRs and adjustable OKR cycles, while adding customizability to OKR dashboards. Moreover, it must be scalable enough to support your organization as it grows, allowing OKRs to match the ever-changing needs of a thriving company.
The success of OKRs lies in your ability to sustain OKR progress and address issues. An OKR management software that enables feedback encourages managers to keep an eye on employees’ OKR performance, guiding them toward successful OKR attainment. Therefore, making feedback tools vital to the functionality and utility of OKR software.
Companies' tech stacks are growing yearly, with the SaaS market projected to reach $702.19 billion by 2030. With such a wide array of tools being used, integrations are essential to OKR management software. They enable everyday tech tools (e.g., Slack, Teams, Salesforce) to complement and update OKRs on the go, dramatically simplifying OKR management.
The benefits of OKR software
If your company is looking to engrain OKRs into the organization, look no further than an OKR management tool. Beyond simplifying the OKR process, OKR tools can help you:
- Improve data-driven decision-making with OKR dashboards
- Simplify OKR management as you scale
- Align employees toward organizational priorities
- Enhance goal transparency and accessibility
- Clarify OKR ownership to ensure accountability
- Encourage agile resource deployment
- Boost employee engagement
Objectives and key results software facilitates insights into measurable, accurate, and actionable data with minimal manual input. If key results have tasks attached to them, OKR progress can automatically indicate what’s working and what isn’t. This is particularly useful for organizations with large datasets and cascading OKRs. With automated OKR progress, you can connect multiple data sources to understand how low-level OKRs impact broader company objectives clearly.
Improve data-driven decision-making with OKR dashboards
Using OKR software data can improve decision-making across your organization. OKR tools’ automated, real-time data tracking capabilities and all-encompassing OKR dashboards allow users to factor in accurate, up-to-date OKR information when calculating their next steps. This reduces the risk of poor decision-making based on inaccurate data, ensuring your business continuously uses current data to improve its strategy and operations.
Simplify OKR management as you scale
OKR management and scalability become significantly easier with an OKR platform. As OKR management tools can help you stay consistent with OKRs as your company grows — with changes visible at every level of your organization — they help embed OKRs into the core of your organization hassle-free.
Align employees toward organizational priorities
OKR software tools help you coordinate employees’ efforts toward primary organizational priorities. As these tools place overarching company goals at the forefront of strategic objectives, they enable employees to focus on the bigger picture. This strengthens alignment, ensuring individual and team OKRs contribute to the goals that matter most for your organization.
Enhance goal transparency and accessibility
As OKR software can help create and distribute visual depictions of OKR data, they improve OKR accessibility and make it easy for employees to understand goal progress. This transparency and visibility around real-time data can help you detect and anticipate inefficiencies, allowing you to make the necessary changes and achieve desired results.
Clarify OKR ownership to ensure accountability
You can quickly establish the ownership of OKR goals using OKR tools, improving accountability and responsibility for their success. With OKR ownership visible throughout the business, employees are motivated to stay productive when working toward their OKRs. This ensures consistent progress is being achieved throughout your company.
Encourage agile resource deployment
As OKR management tools ensure visibility into the latest OKR data, they create an agile working environment where everyone can assess opportunities and challenges as they emerge. Moreover, as the OKR framework is flexible and encourages you to update OKRs at any point, your OKR management tool can act as a hub containing the most up-to-date data. This way, you can direct resources to suit the most recent OKR changes.
Boost employee engagement
OKRs enhance employee engagement, nurturing an active workforce that's more critical than ever given the increase in remote and hybrid employees. As OKR platforms improve goal transparency and accountability, teams are more involved with their OKRs, seeing how their work contributes to organizational progress. Not only does this keep employees in the loop, but it also improves their performance. According to the Global State of OKRs Trends Report, “High performers have diverse approaches to managing and tracking OKRs…the primary distinction is their higher usage of OKR tools and software compared to other groups.”
Moreover, OKR platforms enabling bottom-up and bidirectional goal setting empower employees to take charge of their goals. This responsibility can strengthen their connection to your company, which is especially crucial for widespread teams in large organizations.
Read more on how Quantive's OKR platform can support enterprises
How to choose the best OKR software
While the features we’ve discussed are essential to any OKR tool, you’ll need to consider your business’s unique needs, capabilities, and resources when considering a specific performance management software. This requires asking a few key questions to ensure you make the best decision for your organization. So before taking the plunge, consider reflecting on the following questions:
- What is our business looking to achieve with OKR tracking software?
- What issues are we looking to solve with an OKR tool?
- How user-friendly do we need our OKR platform to be?
- What should OKR software fulfill for a company of our size?
- What is our budget for an OKR tool?
- How scalable do we need our OKR management software to be?
- How easy is it to integrate this OKR software into our existing systems?
- What kind of support and maintenance are we looking to receive from our OKR management tool?
What is our business looking to achieve with OKR software?
Depending on your organization’s specific needs, you may prioritize different OKR software functionalities. For instance, if you’re looking to set simple, independent goals, a more affordable solution with fewer features might do the trick. Conversely, suppose you’re looking to roll out cascading, cross-functional goals that are meant to be visible throughout your business. In that case, you may need a more sophisticated and customizable OKR software. Figuring out what you need can help you identify the essential OKR platform features to look for.
What issues are we looking to solve with an OKR tool?
Your organization’s issues can further help you identify what features to look out for when choosing an OKR management tool. For example, if you’re struggling with overall business alignment, you may want to prioritize an OKR tool that enables cascading OKRs. Alternatively, say your company’s goal communication is the issue. In this case, OKR software that facilitates goal transparency and real-time progress (using dashboards, reports, and alerts) can create opportunities for employees to discuss goal updates and ask questions.
How user-friendly do we need our OKR platform to be?
Choosing the ideal OKR management tool for your business requires evaluating both its capabilities and your organization’s abilities. Considering an OKR software's user-friendliness — and matching it to your workforce’s know-how — is essential. It can significantly impact the extent to which the software is embraced and utilized within your company. If your staff isn’t tech-savvy, using non-intuitive OKR management software may result in a steep learning curve, leading to reduced productivity, frustration, and usability issues. In such cases, opting for a more user-friendly OKR tool that doesn’t require extensive training and resources is best.
What should OKR software fulfill for a company of our size?
Company size matters when it comes to the perfect OKR platform for your business. If you’re operating in a big company, you’ll likely need a robust OKR tool equipped to handle complex needs. On the other hand, a simpler OKR software should do the trick for a smaller company. Beyond this, the size of your company plays a role in determining how many users will need access to the OKR software — directly affecting the price tag. So, as you decide on the right OKR management platform, consider your company’s size to ensure it fits your needs.
What is our budget for an OKR tool?
When sifting through your OKR tool options, a key factor is your budget — including the costs and resources you’ll need to deploy and maintain the OKR software effectively. This initial cost of acquiring the OKR platform is just the tip of the iceberg. The actual cost of implementing the software is reflected in the ongoing expenses that come with it, including the time and cost of customer support and employee training initiatives. By accounting for these costs, you can better decide which OKR tool provides the most bang for its buck.
How scalable do we need our OKR management software to be?
It’s not wise to solely think of your current business needs when choosing an OKR management tool — long-term considerations are also important. As your company grows and evolves, so may the complexity and scale of your goals. This means you’ll need an OKR tool that can keep up. As such, you want to make sure your OKR software can adapt and grow with your company, so you won’t have to switch to a different OKR tool later on (entailing additional time spent on evaluating new options, training teams, and migrating data).
How easy is it to integrate this OKR software into our existing systems?
Understanding an OKR software's integrative capabilities is crucial, as this can affect its usability within your organization. How well your OKR tool integrates with your existing tech stack can affect its ease of use and ability to leverage data from multiple sources. Employees will be more likely to use and adopt OKR software that doesn’t create additional work for them (i.e., manual data entry, switching between multiple systems). They’ll likely stay consistent with the OKR management software if it can fit seamlessly into their daily workflows.
What kind of support and maintenance are we looking to receive from our OKR management tool?
It’s also important to consider the kind of services and support you’ll receive from the OKR software provider. This can give you a good idea of how much time and effort you’ll need to invest in getting the OKR tool up and running smoothly. When considering an OKR management tool, you’ll want to ask the provider about their support and maintenance options. This may include onboarding support, training support, troubleshooting, bug fixing, upgrades, and maintenance.
8 best OKR software solutions
Now that you know the criteria you should consider when assessing your OKR software options, let’s look at eight of the best OKR tools on the market. This section will categorize these eight OKR tools into two separate groups: OKR software (solely focused on OKRs) and performance management platforms that offer an OKR component. Then, for each OKR management software, we’ll discuss an overview of its features, pros, cons, and price.
OKR software tools
Quantive is a software tool that uses OKRs to bridge strategy and execution. Their flagship product Quantive Results enables organizations to plan, align and active, execute, and assess and adapt strategy based on robust data and strategic insights.
This OKR software tool helps you plan strategy through collaborative whiteboards, real-time (KPI) dashboards, confidence level metrics, and OKR lists. These can help your organization figure out what’s working and what’s falling behind. Additional features such as voting, customizable permissions, and unlimited view-only users ensure the right people are always involved.
To align and activate your team, Quantive helps you create multi-level OKRs, view dynamic OKR dashboard insights, assign (shared) OKR ownership, and create custom Insightboards that pool personalized data together. These can be tracked and kept visible throughout your organization using over 170 integrations.
Next, Quantive facilitates effective strategy execution through progress reports and visible confidence level metrics. These ensure everyone’s aware of how well they’re progressing toward their goals. Moreover, Quantive’s real-time feed helps you quickly recognize wins and opportunities for improvement.
Lastly, assessing and adapting your strategy has never been easier with Quantive. Quantive Results helps your organization stay updated with its goal progress using custom dashboards and feedback loops powered by third-party tools, integrations, process automations, and whiteboard retrospectives that enable structured feedback, open discussions, and voting.
- Highly configurable
- Very responsive support team
- Plenty of learning resources for OKRs and Quantive’s product
- Robust integrations
- Track interlinked OKRs across teams, departments, and the overall company
- Gamified approach to goal setting
- Artificial intelligence capabilities to assist the OKR setting and updating process
- Over-simplified UX
- Setting up cascading OKRs requires some getting used to
- Primarily focuses on company goals as opposed to day-to-day tasks
Quantive offers three pricing plans:
- A free forever Essentials plan for small teams and organizations
- Scale for small to medium-sized companies ($18/user/month)
- Enterprise for larger teams and organizations (custom quote).
Weekdone is a specialized software tool for OKR management, enabling you to structure, set, align, and oversee OKRs throughout your company. With Weekdone, your teams can establish a hierarchy of interconnected OKRs at the company, department, team, and individual levels. Users can then track the progress and performance of these goals using weekly reports, planning forms, and task dependencies. Moreover, Weekdone provides a live OKR dashboard highlighting real-time data and an overview of the company’s goal progress.
To facilitate these functions, Weekdone offers a range of features, such as KPI monitoring, regular progress updates, hierarchical OKR goal-setting, CFRs, automated status reports, coordinated OKRs, resources on OKRs, weekly updates, and peer acknowledgment.
- Easy OKR visualization with OKR dashboards
- Robust reporting and analytics
- Has private notes for private reminders
- Lack of KPI and executive dashboards
- Integration struggles
- Poor customer support
- No whiteboards or collaborative functionalities
Weekdone is free for up to 3 users. After that, prices go up based on the number of people using the platform.
Profit is a results management software that allows companies to drive strategy using OKRs. This software enables organizations to set, plan, and align OKRs at the start of each quarter, with weekly check-ins, reviews, and updates used to improve employee engagement.
Regarding OKRs, Profit helps your company reach its goals using OKRs and task management. With OKR management, you can align goals, use different types of key results to track objectives, visualize company dashboards, and engage teams using rewards. With the complementary use of task management, you can create and prioritize supporting tasks, collaborate in custom workspaces, link tasks with key results, and access a dashboard dedicated to tasks.
- Online resources and training
- Good support team
- Numerous reporting options
- UI/UX complications from too many customizations
- Not intuitive, so it can be overwhelming
- Difficult to manage OKRs
- Data dashboard needs improvement
Free for up to 5 users, then it’s $9/user/month billed monthly for the Growth plan. The Enterprise plan entails custom pricing.
Performance management platforms with OKR functionality
Leapsome is an all-around performance management app that integrates employee engagement, performance management, and employee development into a single tool. Mainly utilized by HR, this platform helps organizations set goals, evaluate performance, and promote learning, while providing an opportunity to receive valuable employee feedback.
Regarding Leapsome’s OKR functionality, organizations can create cascading OKR goals supported by one-on-ones, team meetings, shared agendas, and assigned action items to enhance goal collaboration, accountability, and transparency. Additional complementary features include performance reviews, feedback, and peer recognition powered by OKR dashboards, reports, and historical data.
- Lots of features, including modules for onboarding, learning management, engagement, performance management, goal tracking
- Easy to provide peer feedback
- Vast integration options
- There’s a learning curve that can be overwhelming
- No mobile app
- No free version
- Limited features for goal setting
Modular pricing starts at $8/user/month. Large enterprises can request a quote from Leapsome’s sales team.
Lattice is a people success platform that fosters a positive work environment by leveraging continuous performance management, real-time feedback, and employee engagement insights. Its all-encompassing approach to promoting people’s success enables teams and individuals to set and track goals, leave employee reviews, and evaluate performance throughout the company.
In addition, Lattice offers goal-setting capabilities that enable your organization to set company OKRs that integrate into teams’ daily routines. These goals can be sustained through one-on-ones, goal status updates, and performance check-ins, with data integrations allowing for accessible updates across the organization.
- Easy to set, track, and evaluate performance
- Notifies you of tasks that need to be done
- Simplified performance reviews for large companies
- No individual goal options
- Mobile app can be improved
- Non-intuitive user interface
- Limited project management abilities
- Cascading goal management can be confusing
The prices fluctuate depending on the functionalities you choose. Access to Lattice’s performance management and OKR goals starts at $11/user/month, depending on company size. Adding Lattice’s additional Engagement, Grow, and Compensation options entails extra costs.
Asana is a collaborative project management tool that helps teams achieve their strategic initiatives using task, workflow, and project management. Using its features, you can create and assign task interdependencies, plan and execute project maps, and monitor progress using custom dashboards.
When looking at its dedicated goal and OKR features, Asana allows you to create OKR goals at every level of the organization, assigning owners, deadlines, and progress methods that link to projects or tasks.
- Simple to set up
- Various project views and templates to choose from
- Facilitates adaptable project management
- Easy to ensure tasks are organized and on track
- Some necessary integrations are missing or only available with expensive business plans
- The mobile app can be troublesome
- Enterprise solution is more expensive than competitors
- Can't assign tasks to multiple individuals, complicating collaboration
Asana has four pricing plans:
- Basic (free)
- Premium ($13.49/user/month when billed monthly)
- Business ($30.49/user/month when billed monthly)
- Enterprise (custom quote)
15five is a performance management software focusing on driving performing and strengthening work cultures. It allows HR teams to improve their managerial capabilities, drive engagement, and increase retention by taking a holistic approach to performance management. This involves 360 performance reviews, employee engagement surveys, OKR tracking, and manager-employee feedback tools.
When it comes to OKR functionality, 15five can help align your business toward primary goals and engage with activities that serve these. It encourages you to create, monitor, and manage OKRs in line with daily responsibilities. Some of 15five’s supporting OKR features include real-time feedback, weekly check-ins, and self-reviews.
- User-friendly interface
- Facilitates one-on-ones and 360-feedback
- Employee appreciation tools
- The mobile app needs improvement
- Poor support
- OKR features require a specialized plan
- Lack of precise progress data
- Can’t prioritize tasks
15five has four pricing plans:
- Engage ($4/user/month billed annually)
- Perform ($9/user/month billed annually)
- Focus ($8/user/month billed annually)
- Total Platform ($14/user/month billed annually)
BetterWorks is a performance enablement solution for businesses looking to merge people, strategy, and results to facilitate efficient goal alignment, feedback, and employee performance. Its five main products focus on conversations, feedback, calibration, goals, and employee engagement.
This software’s goals component helps businesses align OKRs to strategy, provides visibility into goals, embeds flexibility into their goal-setting system, and integrates with commonly used applications. Moreover, it promotes engagement using direct report progress, comment features, and cheering wins.
- Real-time collaborative goal setting and measuring
- Data-driven feedback
- Easy to personalize
- OKR coaching sessions
- Poor technical support
- No free trial
- Requires training
- Limited reporting capabilities
You need to request a custom quote for both Commercial (starting at 500 employees) and Enterprise plans (starting at 3,000 employees).
Unlock your potential with our leading OKR tool and software
As business needs grow in complexity, a good performance management platform becomes increasingly fundamental to successful OKR deployment. However, simply adopting an OKR software tool may not be enough: your business must ensure it chooses the right one.
The right OKR platforms for your business — chosen based on characteristics such as company size, needs, issues, and budget — can simplify OKR adoption, ensure flexibility, and direct joint efforts with insightful data and progress breakdowns. As such, they’re vital to implementing and scaling OKRs in your business, empowering you to achieve superior outcomes across the board.
Quantive is your go-to OKR software tool, bridging strategy and execution to help you plan successful strategy, focus and align teams to it, and stay on the leading edge of progress.
As your company looks to achieve the best possible results, you need a modern approach to run your business and change your business. The Modern Operating Model brings strategy, teams, and data together to help make decisions faster, optimize operations, and drive better business outcomes.
Whether you’re a large enterprise facing competitive disruption or a small business leading the innovative charge, Quantive helps get you where you want to go.
Ready to achieve the best possible? Start using Quantive for free.